Homemade Maternity Tools

Mercy In Action College of Midwifery, Art 201, Art in Maternity Care Social Justice Pedagogy assigned each student to create an art project highlighting an aspect of Maternity care, and shed light on something that needed attention.

There are many routes to becoming a maternity care provider, one of which is the Certified Professional Midwife, and is a recognized option in most of the United States. Mercy In Action College of Midwifery is among the schools a hopeful midwife can choose from to become a CPM. Mercy provides a 4 year degree program, and those who complete it will have earned a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery, and be eligible to sit for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) Exam and become a certified Professional Midwife, and go on to pursue licensure in their state of residence. Some of the costs of becoming a midwife, which are both financial and personal, include tuition, books, midwifery supplies, time away from family, sacrifices of children’s birthdays, holidays at home, sleep, being on-call 24-7, interrupted schedules, re-scheduling personal appointments constantly, and in many places the preceptor (which is a requirement for completion) requires some kind of payment for hands-on training as well. With all these costs it is clear that this job must be something of a calling and not just a career.

I created these items because I like the feel of an old world art that can explain an old world work in a present tense.  Yarn, thick, or thin, soft or harsh on my fingers as I mold it into something that speaks to the person who holds it, not my voice, but the voice of those who experience it.  These crocheted items don’t tell the story of medicalized tools that are far from the reach of the humble midwifery student, they tell the story of a self made woman who works with her hands to determine her future.  They are crafted with intelligence, with passion, and with purpose. They are within the reach of the poor, but useful to the successful.  I created these pieces to show the struggle of the midwifery student, to learn her craft and do it without bankrupting her family.  Most midwives do not start this journey until they have already started having babies of their own, houses to clean, husbands to keep happy, and finances to juggle. I certainly qualify in all those areas.  These are not just artwork, they are tools that are accessible to anyone who can afford yarn and hooks. Please enjoy not only the creation of these tools, but the use of them, with only the cost of your supplies to worry about.

The Doll for this set is not an original pattern, I am currently working to create my own unique doll, but for now you will find the pattern for this doll at Waldorf-inspired Baby. Please be sure to check out the alternative options for cotter pins, Open mouthed baby head, and the Arm with Sucking Thumb while deciding what your baby should look like.

Waldorf Inspired crochet Doll

All of the other pieces of this set are original designs and I am a busy mom of 5, and student midwife, so if you have trouble with anything in the pattern feel free to contact me at yourcherishedbirth@gmail.com with any questions, but, as this is a school project I have a deadline to meet and have not quality tested these patterns yet, so they are likely to have some faults. Please accept my apologies in advance, and know that as soon as I am able I will be testing the patterns and correcting any mistakes.

You will find at the beginning of each part of the set a list of descriptions for materials, but the stitches and abbreviations will remain the same for all patterns

Abbreviations:
(US terminology)
st(s)= Stitches
Sl st = slip stitch
Sc = Single crochet
Ch = Chain
Inc = increase stitch (2 sc worked in one stitch)
Dec = decrease stitch (for instructions visit here)
FO = Fasten off
Magic ring for instructions visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p298HxgsO1s

Work in continuous rounds unless otherwise specified.

Placenta 

Matterials:
Worsted medium weight yarn [4]
2.5mm hook
Yarn Colors:
Red
White
Dk Blue

In Red Yarn create the infant surface of the placenta:

  1.  6sc in magic ring
  2. 6 inc (12)
  3. (sc, inc) x 6 (18)
  4. (2sc, inc) x6 (24)
  5. (3sc, inc) x 6 (30)
  6. (4sc, inc) x6 (36)
  7. (5sc, inc) x6 (42)
  8. (6sc, inc) x6 (48)
  9. (7sc, inc) x6 (54)
  10. (8sc, inc) x6 (60)
  11. (9sc, inc) x6 (66)
  12. (10sc, inc) x6 (72)
  13. (11sc, inc) x6 (78)
  14. (12sc, inc) x6 (84)
  15. (13sc, inc) x6 (90)
  16. (14sc, inc) x6 (96)
  17. Sc 96
    You will now work on the lobes of the placenta, each will be a different shape and possible a different size. There is room for creativity here.  Approximately 9 +/- lobes should be created.

Continue in red yarn, to create the maternal side of the placenta:

These lobes are nearly symmetrical, but they do not need to be.

Placenta Lobes are to be worked on the surface of the rounds previously completed.
1. Sc between 30-45 st in an oval on the surface of the placenta (it may be helpful to start on the outside ‘rim’ of the placenta. The shape and exact size are meant to be different with each lobe so don’t be exact here.
2-3. Sc the same number as row one.
4. Sc in all st around, inserting a dec at each ‘corner’
5-7. Repeat row 4 until a small opening remains, stuff and sew closed.

Repeat this process for each lobe until the surface of the maternal side is completely covered, leaving no gaps between lobes.

Umbilical cord


Blue Yarn:
Attach yarn to the smooth (infant) side of the placenta, ch 4, sl st to placenta pulling stitches tight. Ch 4, pull tight and sl st to placenta again.  
Ch 80, 
Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st 78 down the side of the ch, sl st  to the placenta, ch 4 pull tight in a different direction from the first ‘artery’
Ch 4, pull tight, sl st to the placenta and fasten off.

Repeat blue yarn once more, being sure that the ch 80 begins in the same spot as the 1st ch 80

Red yarn:Repeat the Blue pattern steps exchanging sl st along the ch 80 for sc

To create the Warton’s Jelly around the umbilical cord twist the two arteries and one vein together and fasten loose ends.  Then with white yarn sl st at the base of the Umbilical cord into the placenta.  Ch3 and sl st to the base again repeating as necessary until you have gone all the way around your umbilical cord (approximately three times)  

  1. Using the ch as your base [dc1, ch1, dc1, ch 1] repeat for each ch3 around the base of the umbilical cord
  2. Without fastening off the end of the last round continue into the next round repeating the same pattern until the very top of the umbilical cord is reached. 
  3. Fasten off, passing your hook through all three strands of the arteries and veins so that all of them are secure.
  4. Secure a button to the belly of the baby you have already made and attach the umbilical cord using one of the spaces you created while making the wharton’s Jelly.
To make the amniotic sac I use a laundry garment bag and cut two identical and appropriately sized rectangles and sew them to the placenta.

Amniotic Sac
Materials needed:
1 laundry garment bag
needle and thread

Follow the images I have provided for the amniotic sac. Cut the garment bag into two equal pieces (top and bottom). Fold the top portion (the side with the pull string) in half and sew edges together, leaving a small hole where the umbilical cord will enter. Open sack and fold bottom corners inward. Place on placenta and pull umbilical cord through the hole, then sew around the edge where the umbilical cord presents. Now sew along the edge of the placenta, being sure that the folded corners are between the sac and placenta to hold them down. cut a small hole along the edge of the top and pull the cord through, cut the cord and thread it through the cord lock to secure. If you can’t get all 4 strands through then you may want to get another cord lock.

Uterus

Materials:
Bulky yarn (I prefer home spun) in any color
3.5 mm hook

Adjust this pattern as needed to accommodate your baby and placenta, it should fit relatively snug, but not so much that the baby and placenta cannot be pushed inside or pulled out.

  1. 6sc in magic ring
  2. 6 inc (12)
  3. (sc, inc) x 6 (18)
  4. (2sc, inc) x6 (24)
  5. (3sc, inc) x6 (30)
  6. (4sc, inc) x6 (36)
  7. (5sc, inc) x6 (42)
  8. (6sc, inc)x6 (48)
  9. (7sc, inc) x6 (54)
  10. (8sc, inc) x6 (60)
  11. (9sc, inc) x6 (66)
  12. (10sc, inc) x6 (72)
  13. (11sc, inc) x6 (78)
  14. (12sc, inc) x6 (84)
  15. (13sc, inc) x6 (90)
  16. -25. Sc 90 
    26. (13sc, dec) x6 (84)
    27-36. (12sc, dec) x6 (78)
    37. (sc 11, dec) x6 (72)
    39-41. 72sc
    42. (10sc, dec) x6 (66)
    43-47. 66sc
    Optional: switch colors for cervix
    48. (9sc, dec) x 6
    49-53. (sc FLO, sc BLO) x30 (60)
    Fasten off and weave in the end to hide it.

Pelvis

Materials:
Worsted weight yarn (I used an off-white I had on hand, any color will do)
2.0 mm hook

Sacrum (stuff as you go)

  1. 4 sc in magic ring
  2. 4 sc
  3. 4inc (8)
  4. [sc, inc] x4 (12)
    5-6. Sc 12
    7. Inc 2, sc 4, inc 2, sc 4 (16)
    8. Sc, [ch6, turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc 4, continuing on the base sc 7] x2, sc 1 (36)
    9. Sc 36
    10. Sc, press sides together and sl st through both layers at st 1 and 10 (4 sl st) [return to front layer only sc 4 around end, ch 5, skip next 4 sl st, sc in next 6] count 12 st out and sl st through st 1 and 12, sl st 3 more through 2 layers repeat from [ ]
    11. [in front loop only of ch st sc 5 across ch] return to main body in sc st closest to you and sc 4 in sc around the end, repeat from [ ]  sc 6 repeat from beginning (40)
    12. Sc 5, inc 2, sc 18, inc 2, sc 13 (44)
    13. sc 2 Press layers together and starting in next st and 12th st, sl st 4, in one layer only inc 4, ch 5, sc in 1st sc after sl st. sc 9, starting in the next st and 12th st, sl st 4 with both layers together, inc 4, ch 5, sc 8 starting in 1st st after sl st.
    14. Sc 2 [in front loop only of ch sc 5, sc 8 (both loops) around the end, sc 5 in back loop of ch,] sc 10 in layer closest to you repeat from [ ] sc 8 (56)
    15-16. Sc 56
    17. Count out 21 st, and starting in the 1st and 21st st [press layers together and sl st 4, on one layer only sc 13 around end, ch 5, skip 4 sl st] sc 7 in one layer only repeat from [ ].
    18. In front loop only sc 5 across ch, sc 13 around end, sc 5 across ch in front loop only, sc 7 , sc 5 across ch st in front loop only, 13 sc around (in both loops), 5 sc across in front loop only, sc 7
    19-20. Sc 58
    21. Sc 18, 2 dec, sc 3, 4 sc in next st, sc 3, 2 dec, sc 25 (58)
    22. Sc 16, 3 dec, sc 3, 5sc in 1st st, sc 3, 3 dec, sc 22 (57)
    23. Sc 17, 2 dec, sc 3, inc, sc 2, inc, sc 3, 2 dec, sc 18, inc, sc 3 (56)
    24. inc, [sc 6, in] x7, sc 8 (64)
    25. Sc, count 22 st, press sides together, starting in st 1 and 22 slt st in next 4 through both layers, sc 6 in one layer only around edge, 2 inc, sc 6, ch 6, skip sl st spaces, sc in next 13, count 22 st, press edges together, starting in 1st and 22nd st sl st next 4 st together, sc in next 6(one layer only, 2 inc, sc 6, ch 6, skip sl st. spaces 7 sc in one layer only
    26. Sc, Inc in back loop of 1st ch, sc 4, inc, move back into front layer starting in 1st sp after sl st [sc 7, inc]x2 around ends, inc in back loop of ch, sc 4, inc, sc 5, inc 2, sc 5, inc in back loop of 1st ch st, sc 4, inc, [sc 7, inc] x2 aound ends, inc in back loop of ch, sc 4, inc, sc 3, inc, sc 2 (90)
    27. Sc 10, inc, sc 6, inc, sc 8, inc, sc 4, dec, sc 2, inc, sc 2, dec, sc 4, inc, sc 8, inc, sc 6, inc, sc 10, inc, sc 11 (96)
    28. Sc 20, inc, sc 22, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 22, inc, sc 18, inc, sc 4, inc (102)
    29-31. Sc 102
    32. Sc 4, press sides together sl st 4 through both layers starting in the next st and the 32nd st out from this point, sc 4, dec 3, sc 14, ch 4, skip sl st spaces, sc 4, dec 2, sc 4, dec 2, sc 4, press layers together, and starting in the next st and 32nd st from hook, 4 slst through both layers, sc 4 in one layer only, dec 3, sc 14, ch 4, skip sl st spaces, sc 12 (90)
    33. Sc 4, 4 sc across back loops of ch, sc 4, dec 2, sc 13, 4 sc across back loops of ch, sc 4, 4 dec, sc 4, sc 4 across back loops, 4 sc, 2 dec, sc 13, 4 sc across back loops of ch, sc 12 (82)
    34-37. Sc 82
    38. Sc 10, dec, sc 4, dec, sc 40, dec, sc 4, dec, sc 16 (78)
    39. Sc 78
    40. [sc 8, dec] x 6, sc 18 (72)
    41. [sc 7, dec] x8 (64)
    42. [sc 6, dec] x8 (56)
    43. [sc 5, dec] x8 (48)
    44. Sc 12, FO leaving a long tail, sew closed stuffing more as necessary.  Pucker/pinch the ridge along the back and sew together.
1st Ilium
1.	Ch 8
2.	Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc 6, 3 sc in last ch, sc 6 along back side of ch, inc in final st (18)
3.	Inc, sc 8, inc, sc 8 (20)
4.	Sc 20
5.	inc, sc 9, inc, sc 9 (22)
6.	Sc 1, inc, sc 10, inc, sc 9 (24)
7.     inc, sc 12, inc, sc 10 (26)
8.	Sc 1, inc, sc 12, inc, sc 8 (28)
9.	sc 2, Inc, sc 13, inc, sc 6, press sides together and skip the next 14 st, sc in the 15th st
10.	Sc 16
11.	Sc 14, dec (15)
12.	Sc 13, dec (14)
13.	Sc 11, dec 2 (12)
14.	 Sc 6, 3 dec (9)
15. 	Sc 9	
16.	[sc 2, inc] x3 (12)
17.	[sc 3, inc] x3 (15)
18.	[sc 4, inc] x3 (18)
19.	Sc 18, sl st, FO stuff

10.2	Starting back at row 9 press sides together 3 sl st through both layers closest to row 10, sc 8 around in one layer only (remember to stuff as you work this part) (refer to image above for specific stuffing instructions)


11.2	inc, sc 9 (10)
12.2	inc, sc 5, inc, sc 3 (12)
13.2	sc 5, inc 2, sc 5 (14)
14.2-18.2.	Sc 14
19.2 sc 8, inc 2, sc 4 (16)
20.	sc 16
21.	Sc 3, ch 6, sc in Row 18 of 1st branch in the stitch immediately after tie off, sc 17 around, sc 6 across ch, sc 16 around 2nd branch, sc 6 across ch.
22.	Sc 6, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 33 (48)
23.	Sc 9, inc, sc 5, inc, sc 31 (50)
24.	Sc 13, inc, sc 36 (51)
25.	Sc 51
26. 	Sc 16, inc, sc 5, inc, sc 16,  2 dec, sc 8 (51) 
27.	Dec, sc 7, dec, sc 3, 2 inc, sc 4, inc, sc 24, dec, sc 4 (51)
28.	sc 1, dec, sc 3, dec, sc 30, dec, sc 7, dec, sc 2 (46)
29.	Sc 3, dec, sc, dec, 2 inc, sc 34, dec, sc (46)
30.	Sc 2, dec, sc, dec, sc 2, 4 inc, sc 33 (48)
31.	Dec, sc 3, dec, sc 3, 4 inc, sc 34 (50)
32.  sc 10, 4 inc, sc 36 (54)
33.	Sc 14, 4 inc, sc 36 (58)
34.	Sc 2, inc, sc 45, 2 inc, sc 9 (61)
35. 	Sc 3, inc, sc 44, 2 inc, sc 12 (64)
36.	Sc 18, 2 inc, sc 44 (66)
37.	sc 20, 2 inc, sc 29, 2 dec, sc 11 (66)
38.	Sc 21, 4 inc, sc 27, 4 dec, sc 8 (66)
39.	Sc 23, 4 inc, sc 25, 4 dec, sc 6 (66)
40.	Sc 25, 4 inc, sc 25, 4 dec, sc 4 (66)
41.	Sc 57, 4 dec, sc 1 (62)
42.	Sc 55, 4 dec (58) (if you are keeping track of your rounds the last dec will go into the next round.)
43.	Sc 22, 4 dec, sc 24, 4 inc (58)
44.	Sc 20, 4 dec, sc 24, 4 inc, sc 2 (58)
45.	Sc 21, 2 dec, sc 26, 2 dec, sc 3 (54)
46.	Sc 54
47.	Sc 21, 2 inc, sc 31 (56)
48.	Sc 56
49.	Sc 51, 2 inc, sc 3 (58)
50.	Sc 22, 2 dec, sc 25, 2 inc, sc 5 (58)
51.	Sc 58
52.	S 20, 4 dec, sc 30 (54)
53-54.	Sc 22, dec, sc 24, inc, sc 5 (54)
55.	Sc 21, dec, sc 31 (53)
56.	Sc 14, dec, sc 32, 2 inc, sc 15 (54)
57.	Sc 18, dec, sc 26, inc, sc 8 (54)
58.	Sc 17, dec, sc 36 (53)
59.	Sc 16, dec, sc 23, 2 dec, sc 11 (50)
60.	Sc 11, 2 dec, sc 21, 3 dec, sc 7 (45)
61.	Sc 11, 3 dec, sc 17, dec 3, sc 5 (39)
62.	Sc 10, 3 dec, sc 14, 3 dec, sc 3 (33)
63.	Sc 9, 3 dec, sc 11, 3 dec, sc (27)
64.	Sc 8, 3 dec, sc 7, 3 dec (24)
65.	Sc 6, 5 dec, sc2, 3dec (16)
66.	Dec 8. FO leaving a tail, weave ends and pull tight.

2nd Ilium
1.	Ch 9
2.	Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc 6, 3 sc in last ch, sc 6, 3 sc in last ch, sc 6 along back side of ch, inc in final st (18)
3.	Inc, sc 8, inc, sc 8 (20)
4.	Sc 20
5.	Sc, inc, sc 9, inc, sc 8 (22)
6.	Sc 2, inc, sc 11, inc, sc 7 (24)
7.	Sc 4, inc, sc 11, inc, sc 7 (26)
8.	Sc 5, inc, sc 12, inc, sc 7 (30)
9.	Inc, sc 9, inc, sc 6, press sides together and skip the next 14 st, sc in the 15th st
10.	Sc 16
11.	Sc 14, dec (15)
12.	Sc 13, dec (14)
13.	Sc 11, dec 2 (12)
14.	 Sc 6, 3 dec (9)
15. 	Sc 9	
16.	[sc 2, inc] x4 (12)
17.	[sc 3, inc] x4 (15)
18.	[sc 4, inc] x4 (18)
19.	Sc 18, sl st, FO stuff

10.2	Starting back at row 9 press sides together 3 sl st through both layers closest to row 10, sc 8 around in one layer only (remember to stuff as you work this part)
11.2	inc, sc 6, inc (10)
12.2	inc, sc 5, inc, sc 3 (12)
13.2	sc 5, inc 2, sc 5 (14)
14.2-18.2.	Sc 14
19.2 sc 8, inc 2, sc 4 (16)
20.	sc 16
21.	Sc 3, ch 6, sc in Row 18 in stitch immediately after tie off, sc 17 around, sc 6 across ch, sc 16, sc 6 across ch.
22.	Sc 6, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 33 (48)
23.	Sc 9, 3inc, sc 21, 2 inc, sc 2, dec, sc 6, dec (51)
24.	Sc 37, inc, sc 13 (52)
25.	Sc 52
26.	Sc 9, inc, sc 5, inc, sc 20, 2 dec, sc 12 (52)
27.	Sc 12, dec, sc 24, 4 inc, dec, sc 6, dec (53)
28.	Sc 12, dec, sc 24, 4 inc, sc, dec, sc 3, dec, sc 2, dec (53) the last dec will run into the next row
29.	Inc, sc 36, 4 inc, sc 3, dec, sc 2, dec, sc 2, dec (54) the last dec will run into the next row
30.	Sc 11, dec, sc 4, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 16, 4 inc, sc 4, dec, sc , dec, sc, dec (57) the last dec will run into the next row
31.	Sc 9, 2 dec, sc 3, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 21, 2 inc, sc 8, 2 dec (56)
32.	Sc 8, 2 dec, sc 32, inc, sc 7, dec, sc, dec (53)
33.	Sc 9, dec, sc 43 (52)
34.	Sc 9, 2 inc, sc 28, 2 inc, sc 13 (56)
35.	Sc 10, 2 inc, sc 46 (60)
36.	Sc 44, 2 inc, sc 14 (62)
37.	Sc 12, 2 inc, sc 32, 2 inc, sc 14 (66)
38.	Sc 12, 2 dec, sc 32, 3 inc, sc 15 (65)
39.	Sc 11, 3 dec, sc 30, 4 inc, sc 16 (68)
40.	Sc 9, 3 dec, sc 26, 2 inc, sc 24 (66)
41.	Sc 6, 5 dec, sc 51 (62)
42.	Sc 5, 4 dec, sc 25, 3 dec, sc 18 (55)
43.	Sc 5, 3 dec, sc 44 (52)
44.	Sc 4, 3 dec, sc 42 (49)
45-46.	Sc 49
47. 	Sc 4, 2 inc, sc 22, dec, sc 19 (50)
48.	Sc 5, inc, sc 24, dec, sc 18 (50)
49.	Sc 5, 2 inc, sc 24,  dec, sc 17 (51)
50.	Sc 6, inc, sc 23, 2 dec, sc 16 (49)
51.	Sc 49
52.	Sc 6, inc, sc 24, 2 dec, sc 14 (48)
53.	Sc 6, dec, sc 25, dec, sc 13 (46)
54.	Sc 6, inc, sc 24, dec, sc 13 (46)
55.	Sc 9, inc, sc 23, dec, sc 11 (46)
56. 	Sc 9, inc, sc 23, dec, sc 11 (46)
57.	Sc 9, inc, sc 23, dec, sc 11 (46)
58.	Sc 10, inc, sc 23, dec, sc 10 (46)
59.	Sc 11, inc, sc 23, dec, sc 9 (46)
60.	Sc 36, dec, sc 8 (45)
61.	Sc 10, 2 dec, sc 18, 3 dec, sc 7 (40)
62. sc 9, 2 dec, sc 16, 3 dec, sc 5 (35)
62.	Sc 9, 2 dec, sc 14, 3 dec, sc 2 (30)
63.	Sc 8, 2 dec, sc 12, 3 dec (25)
64.	Sc 6, 3 dec, sc 7, 3 dec (19) (see image above to stuff ridge here)
65.	Sc 5, 3 dec, sc 4, 2 dec (14) second dec at the end of this row will extend into the next row
66. 	7 dec (last dec will extend into next row) fasten off leaving a long tail to weave into the ends and pull tight, tying off firmly at the end.

Placement of the ilium and sacrum

Sew Ilium to sacrum (see images above)

Pubic Symphysis

  1. Using pink yarn sl st 7 across the edge of the 1st pubic bone and follow along back side sl st 7 more (14)
  2. – 3. Sc 14. FO  leaving a tail and sew to the other pubic bone.

I hope that you have enjoyed my patterns (and that they were not too difficult to follow)! Be on the look out for updates to the patterns as I work to perfect them and make them easier to understand and work.